> > > At 02:56 PM 12/13/2003, Peter Daniels wrote:
> > > >Bill Bright claims that the famous three-syllable character for
> > > >'library' (transcribed tushuguan in Hockett 2003 and Mair, WWS) exists
> > > >almost exclusively to demonstrate that at least one three-syllable
> > > >character exists. Can you confirm or deny?
> At 03:46 PM 12/13/2003, Peter Daniels wrote:
> >So what is the character illustrated by Hockett and Mair, chopped liver?
> >Or are you actually confirming Bill's statement, by implying that you've
> >never seen it used in text?
> I've never seen the characters used in text...
It is a SINGLE CHARACTER, not a sequence of three characters.
> and, I'd also make
> a comment that these three characters are actually relatively recent
> additions to the logogram inventory. For one, traditional "libraries" were
> called 'book rooms'; "kilowatt" is recent; and the obvious use of
> latin/english "T" for <wenti> 'question' shows the obvious source for its use.
> I would submit that while there is probably areas of currency for
> these characters, they're definitely recent and are extremely limited. The
> majority of logogram users/writers would most definitely not use these
> "abbreviated" forms.
> Contrary to Professor Mair's claims of primacy - sound over
It's hardly Mair's claim. It goes back at least to Gelb 1952, but
granted that his understanding of East Asian writing was not optimal, it
belongs at least to DeFrancis 1985.
> symbol, word over graph - I would still have to say/maintain that the
> monosyllabic tradition it still prime, especially given the trends and
> patterns in loan phenomena, where loans (intra-Sinitic, that is) are
> quickly nativized by association with singular graphemes.
> Moreover, residual conservative phonological features, such as
> sesquisyllabic holdovers, are still either represented with two logograms
> or not written at all...